#UgBlogWeek – Day 6: Uber, Yay or Nay?
Uber, a transportation service joined the Ugandan market this year around February. There was a lot of happiness from not being left out (as always), not having to drive and not using boda bodas all the time, at an affordable fee. Of course, the affordable bit is relative and over the months the fee has increased, but on the whole, I’d count it as a plus.
My means of transportation rotate between boda bodas and Ubers. If it’s late, and I don’t have a boda guy in the area, I will opt to use an Uber – which was the case this evening after I attended the second last day of the Kampala International Theater Festival. Be sure to pass by tomorrow if you can, you won’t regret it.
I ordered for my Uber, and got a call to confirm my location and destination. About 20 minutes later, the Uber arrived only for the driver to tell me that he couldn’t take me because he had got a call from his client. I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘Why then did he come?’, ‘Couldn’t he have called to cancel or simply cancelled on the app?’
I have used Uber before in Nairobi, and maybe I was lucky during my duration, but my experience was above excellent. And so it begs the question, what is wrong with Uber Uganda? Are we ‘So Ug’ that we have Ugandanized the service? That thing where when Ugandans touch something, the quality goes out the window?
There have been quite a number of complaints about Uber on social media, ranging from drivers’ numbers not being available, drivers not picking their phones, cancellation charges on requests that were justifiably cancelled, you name it. And so it will eventually come down to, ‘Do we really need Uber?’
If enough people are traumatized by it, will they stop using the service? Will the drivers learn how to use maps to locate customers? Will the customer care improve? I don’t know, I truly don’t, but one thing for sure is that things need to improve with Uber, because right now I am not comfortable with the quality of the service.
What has been your experience with using Uber?